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[cancer] Chemotherapy, day one of session four - Lakeshore — LiveJournal
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Jay Lake
Date: 2010-02-20 10:00
Subject: [cancer] Chemotherapy, day one of session four
Security: Public
Tags:calendula, cancer, health, personal, shellyrae
Yesterday could have gone better. We got to the infusion center only to find the lab computers were down, and they couldn't do my initial bloodwork. This went on so long I eventually saw the oncologist without the blood results, which is not the normal modus operandi. By the time they set the Huber needle into my chest port, preparatory to doing the bloodwork and the infusion, the ELMA topical anaesthetic I applied an hour before going in had worn off. The needle hurt going in. Not surgical-grade pain, but still astonishingly difficult. And needle had gone slight off, so the chemo nurse had to go fishing, which was even more unpleasant.

Due to these various alarums and excursions, we started infusion about an hour later than normal. It went well enough once things got going. fjm and my parents were there all day, except when Dad went to get us lunch. H— dropped by briefly. Got home about an hour late as well, though it's not like I had anything else scheduled.

Oncologist recommended I take a lot more fibre, to try to deal with the ongoing GI madness. She also said it was highly likely I'd have to miss a session in the future as my white blood cell counts drop too low. That will play hob with the visiting schedules of calendula_witch and shelly_rae, as well as my own very carefully crafted work schedule. Oh well. My Neutrophil granulocytes keep dropping, which is apparently the leading indicator for WBC decline. All of this is expected as part of the chemo experience.

Spent my afternoon and evening in the recliner. fjm kept me fed and attended to. We watched Dune (see prior Twittersnark) and then Time Bandits (during which I fell asleep). Vegging with DVDs today and generally being on chat and Twitter, but definitely under the influence of chemo brain.

Want to make another, larger and more thoughtful post about cancer, chemo and side effects, but definitely need to wait until next week when I'm off the pump and the worst of chemo brain has cleared.

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martianmooncrab
User: martianmooncrab
Date: 2010-02-20 18:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
recommended I take a lot more fibre

... had this odd view of Fibre cocktail hour at the Rancho...
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User: arkessian
Date: 2010-02-20 18:25 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Can I recommend linseed for fibre. (Flax seed, I think you'd call it.)
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desperance
User: desperance
Date: 2010-02-20 18:37 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Jay, does the chemo affect your CD4 cell count, do you know? (I'm just wondering if chemo experience mirrors AIDS experience, if it leaves you open to the same opportunistic infections, like that. Tell me to shut up if you'd rather...)
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shelly_rae: Blue Hippo=Strong
User: shelly_rae
Date: 2010-02-20 18:50 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Blue Hippo=Strong
Actually from chemo experience, yes it does. Or rather it can. Opportunistic infections are a problem although they tend to be of a less spectacular nature with chemo than AIDS. So it's similar but different.

Chez Nuevo Rancho Lake has hand-san in everyroom.
Anon
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desperance
User: desperance
Date: 2010-02-20 19:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thanks, Shelly Rae.
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shelly_rae: Diana
User: shelly_rae
Date: 2010-02-20 19:14 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Diana
You're welcome Chaz. Knowledge from the files of "Things I learned but never really wanted to."

I should have added that chemo kills off things like fungal infections and any fast growing cells but viruses are a problem. So a chemo host is less desirable to things like MAC or other usual AIDS infections--those hosts are easier targets because of compromised immune systems that aren't also toxic.

Oy. I is an English major...worse, a medieval lit major. I should know about leeches & humors, not chemo & AZT.

Oh my friends...
Anon
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desperance
User: desperance
Date: 2010-02-20 19:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I hear you. I iz a writer, and was not made to be a nurse-companion. Tho' for a while there I seemed to have a talent for it, or at least a calling. It was, blessedly, a while ago; but I keep spotting similarities, which is why I wondered whether they seemed, um, similarly similar from the other side.
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shelly_rae: Elephant Poop!
User: shelly_rae
Date: 2010-02-20 18:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Elephant Poop!
I'll bring down the easy fibre stuff I add to protein shakes and see what you think of that. I think I mentioned that before or I meant too--TBI brain being what it is.

I've asked for the weekends off so if it changes I'll need to scramble to adjust--but I think it's doable.

Note to self--bring the numbing cream to touch up if necessary?
love ya
Anon
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2010-02-21 01:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm going to ask if we can do the bloodwork a few days early to facilitate scheduling. That should help.
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shelly_rae: Feather in the Sand
User: shelly_rae
Date: 2010-02-21 01:58 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Feather in the Sand
I think that getting stuck once for the event is plenty. Either having them access the port for a blood draw or take it from elsewhere seems like more chances for problems. This was a small delay but it did work and it's worked right the previous 3 infusion sessions...
Anon
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Judith Agrathea
User: agrathea
Date: 2010-02-20 19:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Big virtual hugs, Jay.
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